JCC History

Please read below if you are interested in learning a bit about the history of Joy Christian Center.

  • Pastor Lee E. Wheatley

    Founding Pastor of Joy

    Pastor Lee answered the call of God to begin a new work for Him in the year of 1982, thus Joy Christian Center began. First, we were a few in our home and the Lord told Lee that we would not grow any larger than our home would hold, so we began the search for a place to hold services on Sunday mornings. God opened a door for us in Arcadia, and we were there for one year. Then God opened another door in Duarte and we were there for twenty eight years. There isn't enough space to tell the entire story of how the Lord worked and preformed miracle after miracle in the life of Joy Christian Center and Pastor Lee. Pastor Lee now resides in Heaven enjoying life everlasting. We are very grateful for the foundation he laid. 

    "The Beginning of Joy Christian Center"

    The following was written by Pastor Lee's beloved wife, Bertha Wheatley.  She explains the inception of Joy Christian Center with more detail, revealing how God's guidance was and has always been active in the life of JCC.

    "In the beginning of 1982 Pastor Lee shared with the college and youth class he taught at the time how God was going to do a new thing very soon.  No one even thought it was going to take Pastor Lee away from the church he was at.  But God inspired him with a vision to start a church, not for himself, but for God.  God spoke to Lee and asked him to take a paper and pen in hand and begin to write names as He gave them.  There were 12 names on the list.  God told Lee to call all the people and ask them to meet at his house on the evening of March 10, 1982.  They all showed up.   Just to let you know none of the twelve were plugged in to any one church.  Pastor Lee shared with the group how God had told him of the plan to start a church and how their names had come to be on the list.  At the end of the night eight of the twelve decided that they wanted to be a part of what God was doing.  God supplied all we needed.  Therefore, Joy Christian Center had its beginning.

    We continued meeting in the home until Easter of that same year and miraculously God opened a place for the church to meet in Arcadia at the Best Western Hotel.  We were there for one year.  Going back let me say that when Pastor Lee was asked by the pastor of the church where he was employed at, 'Lee where are you going to plant the church' without hesitation Lee replied 'Duarte' and he had never been to Duarte or heard of it.

    Then one day as Lee was driving down the freeway he saw a beautiful rainbow.  He said he could see the end of it so he drove his car in that direction.  And low and behold the end of the rainbow was in the town of Duarte.  So the search began for a place for the church to meet.  Whenever Lee wanted to go to Duarte to look for a building there were always lots of roadblocks (spiritually and physically).  Then one day when we were in Glendora at the Home Depot running an errand for a friend, this man came up to us and told us that every time he would pass this church in Duarte, God would tell him to call Pastor Lee.  He didn't call so God had to arrange THE MEETING, of all places at a home improvement store and in a town that we were unfamiliar with.  We got so excited about he possibility of an actual church building we were on our way to Duarte to locate it.  We could not find it so we stopped at a phone booth and looked up the number of the church.  At that time it was owned by the Free Methodist.  The secretary was very accommodating when we requested to see the building.  We stepped inside the building and God spoke to me and said, 'This is going to be your new home.' 

    We were there for several years then moved down the street to the Masons Lodge where we literally had to pray to remove the oppression from the building.  We were there for several years then we were invited back to the church where we were before, by this time the church had been refurbished, what a glorious day that was. We were there until July of 2010. Then we were at the YMCA in Covina for 15 months and moved to our present location in November, 2011."

  • Pastor Ernie Benavides

    Former Senior Pastor of Joy

    Bio to come...